up close of tooth with cavityA cavity is tooth decay. It’s a small hole that develops from bacteria eating away at your tooth’s enamel (hard outer layer). A cavity is permanent damage, meaning that your body can’t heal it on its own, so you’ll need intervention from a Wilmington dentist. Cavities often develop from eating and drinking sugary or acidic foods without proper oral care. If you’re brushing your teeth twice per day, flossing, and visiting your dentist twice per year, you’ll likely avoid this tooth decay.

But if you aren’t taking proper care of your teeth, you might start noticing signs of a cavity like aching pain, sharp pain, and pain when chewing. You’ll start wondering, “If a cavity hurts, is it too late?”

If a Cavity Hurts, Is it too Late for Brushing to Save It?

If you’re wondering if it’s too late for brushing to save your tooth, the answer is yes. Once you have a cavity, whether it has started hurting or not, beginning a healthy oral care routine won’t save you from visiting your Wilmington dentist. Your cavity is your tooth decaying. It’s no longer something sitting on top of your tooth. When decay starts, it keeps going until it’s removed and the hole is filled.

While it’s too late for brushing to save that tooth, you can save your other teeth from the same fate by brushing, flossing, and going to your regular cleanings. When you leave a cavity untreated, you put your other teeth and gums at risk. That cavity that started small can fester and eventually turn into gum disease, which will cause your teeth to fall out and put your entire body at risk of severe illnesses due to bacteria in your bloodstream.

If a Cavity Hurts, Is it too Late to Save the Tooth?

If your cavity hurts, it’s not too late to save your tooth. When cavities are small, they tend not to hurt too much, but they’ll start to cause pain as they grow. That’s usually when you notice them. With a visit to your dentist in Wilmington, we can often save your tooth! And if we can’t, we’ll make sure you have a suitable replacement that is beautiful and functional. It’s vital to get your teeth repaired or replaced. Damage to one tooth makes your other teeth more susceptible to damage. And don’t forget, your teeth function best when they’re healthy!

How to Repair Damaged Teeth

How we’ll repair your cavity damage depends on the size of the decay. The smaller the cavity, the less invasive and less expensive the procedure is. Healthy teeth and gums save you time and money.

Small Cavities

Small cavities are the easiest to deal with. All they need is a filling: a flowable tooth-colored material that fills the hole in your tooth. But before we can place the filling, we’ll need to clear the damage. At Kuzma Advanced Dentistry, your comfort is our top priority, and we take numbing your teeth very seriously. We’ll numb your tooth and its area but will not proceed until you’re thoroughly numb. Then, we’ll pull the decay from your tooth and fill it.

Fillings are a short procedure with a quick recovery time. You may feel some sensitivity, but within two to three days, you’ll have a repaired tooth that functions and looks just like a healthy natural one.

Medium Cavities

For larger cavities, we have two restoration options. Inlays and onlays.

An inlay is similar to a filling, but instead of solely filling the hole left behind, it covers the top of your tooth as well. This restoration is more robust than a filling and provides a higher level of protection.

Onlays provide more protection yet. An onlay fills the space left behind, covers the top of your tooth, and spills over the sides. It’ll also helps hold your tooth together if there are any outward pressures from the flowable material in the hole left by the cavity.

Both restorations are custom color-matched to your teeth and usually created in a lab. However, in Wilmington, you can get your inlay or onlay on the same day due to our CEREC machine.

Large Cavities

Sometimes the best option for your tooth is to get a crown. While inlays, onlays, and fillings can do the job, sometimes your cavity is just too large for one of those options to work. Crowns are custom-created caps that fit over your damaged tooth. They’ll match the color of the rest of your teeth, feel, function, and look like a healthy tooth.

  1. First, we’ll take special care to numb your mouth.
  2. Next, we’ll remove the decay and some of the outside of the tooth to make room for the crown.
  3. Finally, we’ll create your crown in our office so you can get it on the same day. Within an hour, you’ll have a brand new tooth!

What To Do for a Tooth that Can’t be Saved

In some instances, we can’t save your tooth because the decay is too extensive. If your tooth can’t be saved, we’ll recommend a dental implant. They’re the best tooth-replacement option because they offer so many benefits.

  • They look and feel like a natural tooth
  • They replace the entire tooth (crown and root)
  • They match the color of your other teeth
  • You’ll eat all your favorite foods without discomfort
  • They last a lifetime
  • They keep your other teeth stable
  • Prevent bone loss

The procedure for a dental implant is more involved than simply restoring your damaged tooth. We’ll have to remove the tooth, take care of gum disease if need be, and place your implant during surgery.

Restore or Replace Your Teeth in Wilmington

If your cavity hurts, it’s not too late. Visit Dr. Michael Kuzma in Wilmington to have it restored or replaced. You can have a complete, functional, and beautiful smile when choosing Kuzma Advanced Dentistry. Call (910) 392-6060 or make an appointment online.